Oct 282013

A federal judge has ruled that key parts of the new Texas anti-abortion law are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled tomorrow.

Federal judge rules key provisions of controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional

In a stunning move, a federal judge Monday ruled that abortion restrictions authorized by Texas lawmakers in July are unconstitutional, and will not be implemented as scheduled on Tuesday, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel decided Monday that the regulations requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital impeded on the rights of physicians to do what they judge is best for their patients and would unreasonably limit a woman’s access to state abortion clinics.

“The admitting-privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her,” Yeakel wrote in his decision.

Although Yeakel ruled that Texas could regulate how a doctor prescribes an abortion-inducing pill, he said the law did not allow for a doctor to alter treatment taken in order to best safeguard the health of the woman taking it.

Therefore, he barred the provision of the law mandating that doctors abide the Food and Drug Administration’s procedure for drugs in all cases, according to the Associated Press.

He wrote: “The medication abortion provision may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform the medication-abortion using off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

You may recall that this is the law that threw Texas State Senator Wendy Davis into the national spotlight when she staged a13-hour filibuster against it four months ago. Senator Davis is now running for governor on the Democratic ticket.

Also noteworthy (maybe): U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel was appointed to his position in 2003 by President George W. Bush.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (Republican, running for governor) has vowed to fight for the law all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.

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